Why We Love to Hate Conspiracy Theories: 911 Truth as Threat to the Intelligentsia


Why We Love to Hate Conspiracy Theories: 911 Truth as Threat to the IntelligentsiaWhy We Love to Hate Conspiracy Theories: 911 Truth as Threat to the Intelligentsia

by Denis Rancourt / September 13th, 2010

Especially left and liberal professionals and service intellectuals but also right-wing members of the intelligentsia vehemently attack and ridicule “conspiracy theories” such as the present 911 Truth movement.


It’s as though power did not covertly orchestrate its predation of us? Is that not the modus operandi of power?

Is it so difficult to believe that the complex and highly successful military attack on US soil that was 911 (levelling three gigantic sky scrapers, blasting a hole into the Pentagon, and destroying four commercial jets and their passengers) was not orchestrated by a religious zealot from a cave in Afghanistan and executed by failed Cessna pilot trainees with box cutters? Or that those who measurably benefited in the trillions had nothing to do with it?

What the hell? Not even (admittedly rare) authoritative mainstream reports seem to matter.1

What ever happened to “war is a racket” and “follow the money”?

In rigorous compliance with the true meanings of academic freedom2 and freedom of the press virtually no academics or mainstream journalists have made it their research to find truth or to radically (at the root) question the establishment version.

Indeed, all the major and considered-radical academic pundits such as Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill, have actively avoided the possibility that the 911 attacks could have been known or aided from within the finance-corporate-military complex.

What keeps them from crossing that line? What makes them demean attempts to cross that line?3

Similarly, even outspoken dissident parliamentary politicians such as George Galloway have ridiculed the concerns of 911 truthers (at his last public talk in Ottawa).

Is such self and projected censorship by star intellectuals only the result of the fear of being mobbed by ridicule? Is asking these questions in public fora so dangerous?

When barred and suppressed Afghan Member of Parliament Malalai Joya was asked about 911 by a truther in Ottawa last year she replied that those who sought answers in this matter should address their questions to the occupiers of the White House. To this writer’s knowledge, this is the furthest that any politician has gone in this direction, coming from “the bravest woman in Afghanistan” no less.

But what shocked the present writer more is the derision to which was subjected the truther at the Malalai Joya Ottawa event, at the hands of an “activist” and “progressive” crowd.


The intelligentsia appears to be addicted to the illusion that it has a monopoly on valid analysis and understanding. In order to preserve this illusion and to protect its standing in providing interpretations of the World, the intelligentsia must limit the scope of all investigations to domains that fall within its self-established interpretational paradigms (right-left, power politics, geopolitical chess board, corporate motives, etc.) and self-established research protocols.

Those paradigms and protocols, in turn, and the rigorously followed discipline of not supposing the worst in one’s research stance, were established in academia at the time when “academic freedom” was being defined by the cornerstone nineteenth century US battles for professional independence in academia. The academics and society lost that battle:

[T]he economists were the first professional analysts to be “broken in,” in a battle that defined the limits of academic freedom in universities. The academic system would from that point on impose a strict operational separation between inquiry and theorizing as acceptable and social reform as unacceptable.

Any academic wishing to preserve her position understood what this meant. As a side product, academics became virtuosos at nurturing a self-image of importance despite this fatal limitation on their societal relevance, with verbiage such as: The truth is our most powerful weapon, the pen is mightier than the sword, a good idea can change the world, reason will take us out of darkness, etc.2

Academics and “radical professors” train the intelligentsia…

And power owns the media.


But much more importantly power owns us, owns our jobs, owns students at school and owns the homeless on the street, the First Peoples on the reserves and the prisoners in the jails. As long as we are owned, information about abuse of power is irrelevant for social change.

This is the sociological fact that the 911 Truth movement has failed to recognize.4 Truth will not set us free. Truth and information do not lead to action. It’s not a question of how many folks know the truth.

It’s only a question of what the truth means in real terms to however few individuals and will these individuals rebel, actually rebel and individually take back power over their lives.

Contrary to the mantra of our left academic idols, truth and research are not threatening to power in a culture of subservience and obedience. In such a culture, radical-in-thought academics only stabilize the system by neutralizing the more action-minded youth.5

In such a culture, the only truth that is threatening to power is one that it perceives as an attack on its self-image.6 And, in such a culture, psychological self-image arising from power’s connection to the broader society is the only force that can move power to constrain itself.6 In this measure, in the present culture, 911 Truth could have an impact. In this way, some of the low-level actual perpetrators and facilitators of 911 could eventually be sacrificed in show trials or in mainstream smear campaigns.

In conclusion, the intelligentsia works at protecting itself (and by extension the system) and therefore will be a visceral opponent of 911 Truth until it can integrate 911 Truth and participate in neutralizing 911 Truth in order for power to save face. Or, some citizens might actually rebel? The extent and projection/potential of such pockets of rebellion is the only force capable of leveraging real concessions from power.7,8,9
# First published on the Activist Teacher blog.

1. “Major media articles on 9-11 raise questions” by Fred Burks, 2010, Want to Know. [↩]
2. “Some big lies of science” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010. [↩] [↩]
3. “Questioning Foundations: An Interview with Denis Rancourt” by Michael Barker, 2010, Dissident Voice. [↩]
4. “911 Truth” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010. [↩]
5. “Against Chomsky” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2008. [↩]
6. “Psycho-biological basis for image leverage and the case of Israel” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010. [↩] [↩]
7. “On the racism and pathology of left progressive First-World activism” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010. [↩]
8. “Roundabout as conflict-avoidance versus Malcolm X’s psychology of liberation” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010. [↩]
9. “Murder and genocide are natural, therefore rebel!” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010. [↩]

Denis G. Rancourt was a tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009 by a president who is a staunch supporter of Israeli policy. Read other articles by Denis, or visit Denis's website.


Thanks for this Simuvac - brilliant article by Denis Rancourt, the lessons of which we should all probably ponder upon.

Great topic of discussion...

More Resources.

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Is Anyone Telling us the Truth - Paul Craig Roberts

Very important issues

Thank you for writing this.

This is an issue I have addressed many times, and I think it's crucial that we understand the mechanisms at work that literally place blinders over the academic left. I think it's crucial to understand Chomsky's position on this, no matter how much I disagree with it. I am a big supporter of Chomsky's work, and have read most of it.

When you ask, "What keeps them from crossing that line? What makes them demean attempts to cross that line?", it's important to remember that Chomsky's main argument is that the State routinely conducts crimes that are very visible, and that there isn't a need to focus on crimes that are not so visible, and indeed require an uphill battle to expose. So the murder of 1 million people in Iraq is clearly visible, clearly constitutes a war crime, and there is a precedent to bring people to justice. In fact, that is Chomsky's goal, expose the crimes of state, partially by using their own documents and rhetoric. And he has documented these crimes for over 50 years. Ad infinitum.

However, the key question is, what is different about 911 in that it might justify a whole movement to expose this one crime? I would argue that this is where Chomsky misunderstands what an organizer is concerned about, how psychologically important and revolutionary this could be in the U.S. I have always argued that 911 is an organizer's dream, in that it exposes the true nature of U.S. state terrorism not just abroad, but at home. But most importantly, it is an incredibly diverse movement that reaches scientists, professionals of all sorts, the left, the right, the working class, etc, etc. The unity on this issue is powerful and dangerous to elites, in that it unites all of us in the recognition that false flag state terrorism is real. This is the kind of revelation that could internally challenge the dynamics of empire.

On the issue of the liberal class, i think it's pretty clear that they still believe in the U.S. as a democracy, not what it is, which is a totalitarian corporate state (Chris Hedges). They also have a lot to lose personally. Any journalist knows he or she stands a chance of getting ridiculed and fired in the mainstream press for speaking out about 911. Same with academics in large part. These are real serious concerns right now. In many cases, they refuse to look to closely because they either are not scientists (so they don't get that side of the argument), or they are so closed minded that they refuse to look at any of the facts. Indeed, facts clearly don't matter in this case, but their illusions do. They cling to mythology about the nature of "democracy" and state terrorism. It's what Joe Bageant calls the Hologram.

Another key issue to remember from history is the Gulf of Tonkin incident, a very very clear example of a false flag attack that justified the increase in troop levels in Vietnam. We know that led to the slaughter (murder) of close to 3-4 million Vietnamese (the CIA's number is 2M). Yet the real crime here was the war and not the incident which led to it. If the international community had power and Nuremberg was ready, the war criminals would be on trial for that war, and the Gulf of Tonkin incident would be a footnote.

911 is different. It is both a false-flag terror attack and a clearly direct crime in it's own right. And it was conducted by against US citizens by elements of the corporate state [An aside: whether parts of 9/11 were outsourced to a private company and worked together with govt, it's still the same power structure at this point]. I always emphasize to people that false-flag terrorism is systemic state policy, as the CIA is it's own conspiracy generating factory (overthrowing governments, assassinations, drug running, coups, spying, etc etc).

Chomsky has always pushed a systemic analysis when it comes to understanding state policy. I tend to agree. The right generally avoids this because the nationalist/patriotic tendencies there. But my answer to Chomsky is that he is missing, or not discussing, the fact that false flag terrorism is systemic state policy. You only have to read Dr. Ganser's book (http://amzn.to/cUOWbd) on Operation Gladio (which Chomsky ironically wrote a blurb for on the back) to understand that terrorism is indeed conducted by states to make sure that the left is destroyed any time it gets to close to achieving state power.

I thought David Ray Griffin did an excellent job in tackling his letter to the liberal punditry: http://bit.ly/9PQQ61

But I really don't have much hope there. As Chris Hedges points out, the liberal class sold out the working class long ago, and the icing on the cake was NAFTA. And it's true that the enemy of the liberal class is Chomsky, because he points out their complicity in state crimes.

Chomsky is not the enemy of the 911 truth movement. He's just wrong about this one. That is ok.

Finally, I agree with Peter Phillips that 911 Truth needs to integrate itself into the anti-war movement. 911 Truth should not be a single issue movement, IMHO. And one suggestion I have for that is that 911 Truth organize it's own anti-war march in and around ground zero, under the banner:

911 Truth, End The War in Afghanistan!

Thank you

for this insightful and inspirational analysis.

Show "I have a rule.Whenever a" by waitew

Fox and WTC7


Dave Von Kleist found this. They even have their story about WTC7 all made up and ready to go.


Only Hollywood Could Produce Something Like It.

That was a fabulous clip!

It would be a great opening scene for any presentation on 7.